cradle

cradler, n.
/krayd"l/, n., v., cradled, cradling.
n.
1. a small bed for an infant, usually on rockers.
2. any of various supports for objects set horizontally, as the support for the handset of a telephone.
3. the place where anything is nurtured during its early existence: Boston was the cradle of the American Revolution.
4. Agric.
a. a frame of wood with a row of long curved teeth projecting above and parallel to a scythe, for laying grain in bunches as it is cut.
b. a scythe together with the cradle in which it is set.
5. a wire or wicker basket used to hold a wine bottle in a more or less horizontal position while the wine is being served.
6. Artillery. the part of a gun carriage on which a recoiling gun slides.
7. a landing platform for ferryboats, rolling on inclined tracks to facilitate loading and unloading at different water levels.
8. Aeron. a docklike structure in which a rigid or semirigid airship is built or is supported during inflation.
9. Auto. creeper (def. 5).
10. Naut.
a. a shaped support for a boat, cast, etc.; chock.
b. truss (def. 9).
11. Shipbuilding.
a. a moving framework on which a hull slides down the ways when launched.
b. a built-up form on which plates of irregular form are shaped.
12. Med. a frame that prevents the bedclothes from touching an injured part of a bedridden patient.
13. Mining. a box on rockers for washing sand or gravel to separate gold or other heavy metal.
14. an engraver's tool for laying mezzotint grounds.
15. Painting. a structure of wooden strips attached to the back of a panel, used as a support and to prevent warping.
16. rob the cradle, Informal. to marry, court, or date a person much younger than oneself.
v.t.
17. to hold gently or protectively.
18. to place or rock in or as in an infant's cradle.
19. to nurture during infancy.
20. to receive or hold as a cradle.
21. to cut (grain) with a cradle.
22. to place (a vessel) on a cradle.
23. Mining. to wash (sand or gravel) in a cradle; rock.
24. Painting. to support (a panel) with a cradle.
v.i.
25. to lie in or as if in a cradle.
26. to cut grain with a cradle scythe.
[bef. 1000; ME cradel, OE cradol; akin to OHG cratto basket]
Syn. 3. birthplace, fountain, font, wellspring.

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      in furniture, infant's bed of wood, wicker, or iron, having enclosed sides and suspended from a bar, slung upon pivots, or mounted on rockers. The rocking motion of the cradle is intended to lull the infant to sleep. The cradle is an ancient type of furniture, and its origins are unknown. Early cradles developed from hollowed-out tree trunks to oblong, lidless wood boxes, originally with apparently detachable rockers. Later cradles were paneled and carved, supported on pillars, inlaid, or mounted in gilded bronze.

      Every period of furniture style has produced a variety of cradle types, from simple boxes to the elaborate draped state cradles of 18th-century France. While peasant babies slept in light wooden or wickerwork cradles, royal and noble medieval infants were rocked in cradles decorated with gold, silver, and precious stones. The wood cradles mounted on rockers so popular from the 15th through the 17th century were gradually superseded in the 18th and 19th centuries by wicker cradles that were slung between end supports in order to raise them higher from the ground. Adult cradles also survive, presumably from the 18th and 19th centuries, for the elderly and infirm. In much of the world, cradles were gradually replaced by the barred crib in the early 20th century.

▪ harvesting tool
      in agriculture, rakelike harvesting implement of wood, devised in ancient times for gathering the stalks of wheat, oats, barley, and other grains (first cut with the sickle) and laying them in rows for binding. The later cradle scythe invented in Europe consisted of a framework of long, fingerlike prongs attached to the cutting edge of a long-handled scythe. The device was swung like the usual scythe but simultaneously cut the grain and gathered it into loose bundles ready for tying. Cradles of this type are still employed in some areas of the world.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cradle — may refer to: Mechanical devices: Bassinet, a small bed, often on rockers, in which babies and small children sleep Ship cradle, supports a ship that is dry docked Cradle (grain), in agriculture is a device based upon a scythe to cleanly reap and …   Wikipedia

  • cradle — [krād′ l] n. [ME cradel < OE cradol < * kradula, little basket; akin to OHG kratto, basket < IE base * ger , to twist, turn > CRANK1, CRAMP1, CREEK] 1. a baby s small bed, usually on rockers 2. the earliest period of one s life;… …   English World dictionary

  • Cradle — Cra dle (kr[=a]d l), n. [AS. cradel, cradol, prob. from Celtic; cf. Gael. creathall, Ir. craidhal, W. cryd a shaking or rocking, a cradle; perh. akin to E. crate.] 1. A bed or cot for a baby, oscillating on rockers or swinging on pivots; hence,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cradle — Cra dle, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Cradled} ( d ld); p. pr. & vb. n. {Cradling} ( dl?ng).] 1. To lay to rest, or rock, as in a cradle; to lull or quiet, as by rocking. [1913 Webster] It cradles their fears to sleep. D. A. Clark. [1913 Webster] 2. To… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cradle — ► NOUN 1) a baby s bed or cot, especially one mounted on rockers. 2) a place or period in which something originates or flourishes: the cradle of civilization. 3) a supporting framework resembling a cradle, in particular for a boat under repair… …   English terms dictionary

  • cradle — [n1] small bed for baby baby bed, bassinet, cot, crib, hamper, Moses basket, pannier, trundle bed; concept 443 cradle [n2] early childhood; origins babyhood, beginning, birthplace, fount, fountain, fountainhead, infancy, nativity, nursery, origin …   New thesaurus

  • Cradle — Cra dle, v. i. To lie or lodge, as in a cradle. [1913 Webster] Withered roots and husks wherein the acorn cradled. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cradle — index bear (support), genesis, lull, origin (source), origination, source Burton s Legal Thesaurus …   Law dictionary

  • cradle — cra|dle1 [ˈkreıdl] n [: Old English; Origin: cradol] 1.) a small bed for a baby, especially one that moves gently from side to side →↑cot ▪ She rocked the cradle to quieten the child. 2.) the cradle of sth formal the place where something… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • cradle — [[t]kre͟ɪd(ə)l[/t]] cradles, cradling, cradled 1) N COUNT A cradle is a baby s bed with high sides. Cradles often have curved bases so that they rock from side to side. Syn: crib 2) N COUNT The cradle is the part of a telephone on which the… …   English dictionary

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